After spending several years with the Pirates, who released him Aug. 5, it’s possible free-agent infielder Jung Ho Kang will resurface in the National League Central. Kang took infield practice with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in San Antonio on Thursday, as journalist Joe Alexander noted. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel corroborated Alexander’s report Friday, tweeting that Kang has been working out with the Brewers’ top farm club. Kang and the Brewers have not reached an agreement on a minor league contract yet, though, as general manager David Stearns said the two sides still have issues to work out, per Haudricourt. The once-valuable Kang, 32, is looking to rebuild his stock after batting a hideous .169/.222/.395 in 185 plate appearances with Pittsburgh this season.
Here’s more on a pair of other NL teams…
- Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo finally began a rehab assignment Friday at the Single-A level, Tim Healey of Newsday was among those to report. A bulging disc in Nimmo’s neck has shelved him since May 21, meaning it’s likely he’ll need a solid amount of time to work back, as Healey notes. The Mets have charged into playoff contention in recent weeks despite Nimmo’s absence, though they’ve since lost fellow noteworthy position players Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith to the injured list. Unlike McNeil and Smith, Nimmo was in the throes of a surprisingly difficult season when he went down. After getting on base at a .404 clip and totaling 4.5 fWAR during what looked like a breakout 2018, the 26-year-old Nimmo came out of the gates this season with a .200/.344/.323 line and 0.2 fWAR in 161 PA.
- Cano and closer Edwin Diaz, the Mets’ two biggest winter acquisitions, have joined Nimmo in enduring trying seasons. The Mets expected the great track records of Cano and Diaz to carry to their organization when they picked up the two during the offseason in a blockbuster trade with the Mariners. Instead, they’ve struggled, and the top best prospects the Mets surrendered – outfielder Jarred Kelenic and righty Justin Dunn – have excelled, as David Schoenfield of ESPN.com observes. Kelenic and Dunn were already well-regarded prospects at the time of the deal, but their stocks have only risen this season. Both players reflected on the swap with Schoenfield, Kelenic saying: “I looked up at a TV and my name was up there as a rumor. I was like, ’Are you kidding me? Is anyone else seeing this?'” Kelenic was in disbelief the Mets were set to move him just a few months after choosing him sixth overall in the draft. As for Dunn, a Long Island native, he understands why general manager Brodie Van Wagenen dealt him. “He had to do what was best for the organization,” Dunn stated, adding that “he had to do the right move for his team, which was to try and win now.”
- Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez departed the team’s loss to St. Louis on Friday with a left thumb sprain, per an announcement from Cincinnati. X-rays came back negative on Suarez, who’s day-to-day. The big-hitting 28-year-old’s production has taken steps back this season compared to 2018. However, Suarez has still slashed a more-than-respectable .259/.341/.530 with 33 home runs in 504 PA, further justifying the Reds’ decision to hand him a seven-year, $66MM extension prior to last season.